Food Allergy and Teenagers

We've heard it before- death from anaphylaxis peaks during the teenage and young adult years.
This statement is enough to stop any parent cold in their tracks. After protecting our precious children for so many years, it's horrifying to think that they will be casual about their food allergies.

 A recent study in the U.K. involved questionaires and interviews of young people between the ages of 11-18 with food allergies. The research sought to understand the challenges faced by this group. The preiminary results of this study are out.

It seems that teenagers are not concerned with "may contain" labels, thinking it unlikely the food contains the allergen. They take thier epinephrine only if they think there may be a risk of a reaction. Many do not now what to do if they have a reaction.

We should not let this information shoch us into inaction. Instead, use it to have a dialog with your children. They must carry their medicine with them- ALWAYS. They must not eat anything that may be unsafe. They must know the steps to take if they think they may be having a reaction. Hook your tween/teen up with FAAN Teen where there is conversation among peers about how to manage food allergy during this critical time of development.
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